The name Korin (a pun on corn) is more familiar to the Western audience, as opposed to its Japanese name “Karin,”. However, Karin is coined from “K’arin” which is the Japanese name for Chinese quince. The name “Korin Tower” (his abode) is coined from the word “Karinto” which is a play on fried dough cake called “karinto.” It is in line with Akira Toriyama’s knack for naming his characters after names of food.
Akira Toriyama used his cat as a yardstick for designing the appearance of the character, Korin. He drew his cat while asleep that is why, Korin’s eyes appears closed in the Dragon Ball series. In the Dragon Ball manga, he has blue fur while in the anime version; his fur changed to white.
Korin is an immortal cat (Senbyo) aged 800 years when he was introduced in Dragon Ball. He lives at the top of Korin Tower situated below Kami’s Lookout. He is highly respected among martial artists as he is referred to as “The God of Martial Arts”. However, his appearance does not merit his fame and reputation which makes visitors to his abode very surprised.
The first person, to successfully climb the Korin Tower, was a young Roshi, who trained under Korin. Roshi trained under the tutelage of Korin, and it took him a whooping three years to catch Korin and gain access to the Sacred Water, which was believed to provide enormous speed and strength. Korin also trained Goku in Dragon Ball during the Red Ribbon Army Saga. He helped the Z Fighters on different occasions by providing Senzu Beans to help them through battles.
Goku knew of Korin’s existence when he went searching for Grandpa Gohan’s Four-Star Dragon Ball in the Sacred Land of Korin where he met native inhabitants Upa and Bora. Bora willfully gave him the ball and told him about the existence of a tower where airplanes could not reach its top. He also told Goku that if anybody could climb to the top and drink Korin’s “Sacred Water”, he would gain enormous speed and strength. He grows the Senzu Beans, which could heal wounds, and when consumed, it is equivalent to ten days’ meal.
Goku decided to reach the top of the tower in order to drink the sacred water and gain enormous speed and strength. The rest, they say, is history!